Cubs Sign Kawasaki to Minor League Deal

Jon Paul Morosi at Fox Sports reports that the Cubs have signed veteran utility infielder  to a 2016 minor league contract, and Paul Sullivan at the Chicago Tribune further reports that Kawasaki will receive an NRI to Spring Training with the big club.


Kawasaki essentially takes the place of (who elected free-agency after being outrighted to the minors in October), although Kawasaki will have to beat-out and/or (as well as fellow NRI utility INF and ) for a spot on the Cubs 25-man Opening Day roster.

I suspect Kawasaki will likely end up at AAA Iowa (at least until June 1st - see last paragraph below), providing insurance in case something happens to either or Baez. 

Playing nine-plus seasons for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in the NPB Pacific League, the left-handed hitting Kawasaki was an eight-time NPB All-Star, a two-time Gold Glove award winner, and he led the league in stolen bases once. He was a member of Team Japan in both the 2005 and 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Kawasaki signed a contract with the Seattle Mariners after the 2011 season, and he has bounced back & forth between AAA and MLB over the past four seasons (one with the Mariners, and then three with the Toronto Blue Jays).   

The speedy but light-hitting 34-year old has hit 234/314/284 in 262 MLB games (712 PA) 2012-2015, providing glove-first plus-defense at SS-2B-3B.  

Because of previous service time accrued in Japan (NPB) prior to signing his first contract with an MLB organization, Kawasaki is considered an Article XX-B player, and in fact he has been declared an Article XX-B MLB free-agent three times: post-2013, post-2014, and post-2015. (Kawasaki wasn't declared an Article XX-B MLB FA post-2012 because the Mariners released him in October, prior to the conclusion of the World Series). 

An Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signs a minor league contract at least ten days prior to MLB Opening Day and then is either not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB Disabled List by 3 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day automatically receives a $100,000 retention bonus, and the player can unilaterally opt-out of the minor league contract on June 1st if he has not been added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or an MLB Disabled List by that date.

Comments

I would have to think that Kawasaki and Maddon are going to be best friends.

If he doesn't make the team, they should hire him as an ambassador. He and Demp would be a riot.

MLB trade deadline is now Aug 1 for 2016...neat. the extra day is because of concerns over sunday afternoon games or some blah blah blah whatever. http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/14620922/ma...

CRUNCH: The MLB "non-waiver" trade deadline was changed to 4 PM (Eastern) on August 1st in 2016 only, because  July 31st falls on a Sunday. (This is the first time the trade deadline was extended because Juily 31st falls on a Sunday). 

The "non-waiver" trade deadline actually matches up exactly with the end of the waiver period that extends from the 31st day of the MLB regular season through July 31st (the next waiver period extends from August 1st through November 10th), but apparently the waiver periods were not changed. 

This little dude is a trip. I wish him the best in his battle for player number 25 on the roster.

hopefully he knows how to use a rally gum bucket if he's taking that role. that's kinda important.

mets/cespedes...3/75, supposedly. looks like he traded out years+security for big pay on the short term. supposedly he has a 1-year opt out and getting 27+m in his 1st year. crazy loot...

27.5m his 1st year with an opt-out confirmed...on a 3/75 contract. that is a bigass single-season paycheck for a position player who's not a top-tier player (though his power is top-tier and he's got a nice arm).

Gallardo, Desmond, and Fowler are left on the TCR Board. billybucks has a good lead, with viable predictions left. Unless jacos runs the table or the Cubs make another trade, billy can't lose (but could tie).

So, instead of winning Powerball, I might win this. So far, Greinke and Upton are the only two that everybody whiffed on.

I am surprised more people didn't pick Heyward to the Cubs. That was the only prediction I made I had any confidence in at all.

I had Kawasaki to the Cubs

Bloom County type expression of alarm: The Spreadsheet is wrong! You have six points now!

BILLYBUCKS: Be careful what you wish for... 

link 

Ugh.

i got your back bruh... if you win the lottery just stay cool and calm...don't tell anyone...mail the ticket to me...i'll handle all that stress. you're welcome.

So great to be part of the supportive, selfless TCR community. Of course, living in Illinois -- the state is currently paying lottery winners in IOUs, because there is no money in the state budget because there's no state budget. Theo for mayor/governor! He can fix anything!

Even Theo has his ceiling.

Maybe Crane Kenney for Mayor/Governor? Now that he's figured out how to work the politicos, although he still feels Alderman Tunney nipping at his heels. Illinois Politicians have a long history of badness...here is where the original stash of lottery money went. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-02-24...

Nick Cafardo's Sunday Notes, he ranks the off-season winners and losers. Cubs on the winner side after Boston and Detroit. Also a comment that the Cubs are one of four teams interested in Austin Jackson (and Brewers, Angels, Rangers).
3. CUBS — This was already a 97-win team, but mix in John Lackey and veteran hitters Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward, and the Cubs can certainly say they’ve separated themselves from the Cardinals and Pirates.
https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2016/01/23...

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  • First.Pitch.120 3 hours 39 min ago (view)

    I second & nominate Crunch as winner of the internet....

     

  • Charlie 5 hours 3 min ago (view)

    I dub this canon.

     

  • Eric S 14 hours 20 min ago (view)

    Good deal - much better ballpark experience than at the Ted. Atlanta fans are buying in and showing up. 

     

  • Eric S 14 hours 37 min ago (view)

    It’s a shame that they had to burn Cishek with a five run lead. I guess they could have used Brach or Caratini. Probably not enough time to warm up Caratini. Wouldn’t want to risk blowing the lead with Brach. 

     

  • crunch 14 hours 50 min ago (view)

    gonna be in ATL over the 4th and catching the young braves club in person.  i really don't like going to that park (hey, who wants 3-4 hours of the "tommy hawk chawp"?), but i wanna see this collection of kids.

     

  • Eric S 14 hours 51 min ago (view)

    Kyle Ryan playing like a man who wants to keep his big league roster spot - well done!!

     

  • crunch 14 hours 52 min ago (view)

    if javy has the ball you gotta play like you're on a basketball court.  until the play is dead, no matter what your view is, that ball could be coming at you at any time from any angle.

    bote also goofed earlier in the season playing 3rd during a lester start by not knowing how extreme one needs to cover for him.  yeah, technically it should be lester's play, but realistically the 3rd baseman has more range to cover with lester on the mound.

     

  • Eric S 14 hours 54 min ago (view)

    Barnette’s 88-91 mph fastball really is, uh, not very special. 

     

  • Eric S 14 hours 56 min ago (view)

    But for Flowers and the pitchers spot, the Braves lineup is relentless. When McCann plays, the only hole is the pitchers spot. Tough club. 

     

  • crunch 15 hours 43 sec ago (view)

    welcome to the cubs barnette.

    6 pitches to his 1st batter, solo HR.

    you're gonna fit in just fine.

     

  • Eric S 15 hours 17 min ago (view)

    Thanks Phil. What kind of prospect(s) do you think it would take to pick up Melky?

     

  • Eric S 15 hours 27 min ago (view)

    Not the first time Bote has frozen on a catchable ball from Javy at second ... and leads to two unearned runs. Damn. Love Bote, but when you’re playing with Javy, you better expect the unexpected 

     

  • crunch 15 hours 48 min ago (view)

    mission accomplished.

    also, wow at that 10 mile long leash teheran got to totally suck.

     

  • Eric S 15 hours 53 min ago (view)

    Pro tip to the Cubs: score a ton of runs, then score a ton more. These Braves specialize in pulverizing and bludgeoning teams into oblivion, particularly after the six inning. 

     

  • Eric S 15 hours 59 min ago (view)

    Walnuts suck. Just sayin’

     

  • Arizona Phil 16 hours 7 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have officially signed three more 2019 draft picks: RHP Zach Bryant (15th round - Jacksonville), RHP Johzan Oquendo (16th round - Leadership Christian Academy - Guaynabo, PR), and RHP Shane Combs (31st round - Notre Dame). 

    So the Cubs have now signed 24 of their 40 draft picks.